Putting meaning back into youth volunteerism

Putting meaning back into youth volunteerism
From left: Song Majinyang, 20, Edward Pang, 20, That Khaing Zin, 20, Amanda Toh, 19, Amanda Lee, 20, Hnin Hnin Oo, 20, Ee Zhixin, 20, Kenneth Leong, 19, Lui Wen Yan, 20, Wong Wen Kai, 20, Niraj Mohan, 20.

SINGAPORE - After years of going through the motions on school-initiated projects, Mr Wong Wen Kai, 20, was disillusioned with volunteering.

"We went to a village in China to help the villagers," he recalls. "But we ended up breaking their one and only water pipe. I was absolutely disillusioned."

Then his friend, Mr Niraj Mohan, convinced him to give volunteerism another shot.

The pair, along with two other friends, set up Amberbrook, a group dedicated to bringing meaning back to volunteerism.

"Many youths have brilliant ideas and want to undertake a project, but they don't know how to carry it out," said Mr Mohan, 20.

He had attempted to organise a charity carnival in his secondary school days but found it a "huge struggle" as he lacked guidance.

This is where Amberbrook comes in.

It runs workshops for volunteer groups, teaching skills such as securing sponsorship but also trying to instil a deeper sense of project ownership.

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